Democracy & Peace

  • Body: 
    Following Merkel’s business-focused West Africa tour in August 2018 of Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, the German chancellor came back to the region for a three-day tour of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger on 1-3 May. This time, discussions focused on security and counter-terrorism efforts in the Sahel. Chancellor Merkel participated in the G5 Sahel Extraordinary Summit on 1 May in Ouagadougou. Germany pledged an additional EUR 46 million for Burkina Faso and EUR 35 million for Niger to support development projects and to pay for security force equipment and training. Read on
  • Opinion: 
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    This op-ed, published on the IPI Global Observatory, by Jorge Moreira da Silva, OECD director of the Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) and Eric Rosand, director of the Prevention Project and Brookings non-resident senior fellow, calls upon governments and development partners to develop a new approach to development that prioritizes prevention. A stronger focus on prevention will require “a much more coherent effort among political, security, development, humanitarian and peace actors—recognizing that the challenges in fragile contexts are too big and too complex for one set of actors to tackle alone,” explain the authors. Read on
  • SWAC: 
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    Voter turnout is a key indicator of the vitality of a democracy. It helps measure the trust that citizens place in their political institutions and politicians, and shows how citizens participate in the governance of their country. While the global average voter turnout has decreased significantly since the 1990s, registered voter participation in Africa’s still-fragile democracies has varied widely between countries and over time. Nigeria is the most striking example. Read on
  • FESPACO turns 50

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    Africa’s largest film festival, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), celebrated its 50th anniversary from 24 February-2 March. The 26th edition of the festival brought together nearly 100 000 film-lovers and screened 165 films from 16 African countries. The government deployed about 2 000 security forces to maximize security surveillance and protect the festival. Joël Karekezi, a Rwandan filmmaker, won the prestigious Golden Stallion of Yennenga for his “Mercy of the Jungle,” a film that denounces the absurdity of war. Read on
  • Country: 
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    Incumbent President Macky Sall gathered 2.5 million votes (58%) during the first round of Senegal’s presidential election on 24 February, thus avoiding a second round with a stronger, more united opposition. The two main opposition candidates, Idrissa Seck and Ousmane Sonko obtained 21.5% and 15.67% respectively. Khalifa Sall, the former mayor of Dakar, and Karim Wade, the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, were unable to run because of corruption convictions. Voter turnout was high (66%) compared to 2012 levels (51.6% during the first round). Read on
  • Country: 
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    Following a last-minute postponement, Nigeria’s general elections were eventually held on 23 February. Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected in the first round for a second four-year mandate with 55.6% of votes (15.2 million people). His closest rival, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar gained 41.2% of votes (11.3 million people). Abubakar rejected the results released by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), denouncing the vote as a “sham election” and setting up a legal team to challenge results. Read on
  • SWAC: 
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    The relationship between a country’s armed forces and its government is a crucial indicator of the quality of its democracy and its degree of political stability. The SWAC Secretariat’s most recent West African Paper analyses civil-military relations in six Sahelian countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal). The stabilisation of precarious security situations and the promotion of democratic institutions should be seen as two sides of the same coin. Partners should, therefore, continue to provide military assistance to the Sahel while fostering civilian oversight and democratic reform. Read on
  • Country: 
    Members: 
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    2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first African slaves in Jamestown, Virginia, in what would become the USA. According to estimates, some 12 million Africans were taken to the Americas as a part of the slave trade between 1619 and 1860. At the beginning of 2019, Ghana celebrated the Full Circle Festival, which kicked off the “Year of Return” celebrations initiated by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo in a bid to become a destination for memorial tourism in West Africa. Read on
  • Body: 
    Some 37 Fulani people were killed on 1 January 2019 in an armed raid on the Mopti region village Koulogon in central Mali. A second inter-community clash took place on the New Year’s Day in the village of Yirgou in central-northern Burkina Faso. 49 people were killed. Several thousand Burkinabé gathered on 12 January in Ouagadougou at a silent protest march against impunity and the stigmatisation of communities Read on
  • Opinion: 
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    In this interview by Défis humanitaires, Jean-Marc Châtaigner, ambassador and France’s special envoy for the Sahel, takes stock of the security situation in the Sahel and analyses the key challenges facing the region. This interview provides a detailed explanation of the French government’s 3D concept - diplomacy, defense and development - which Châtaigner makes 4D by adding “droit” or law and advocating for a rights-based approach. Read on

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